The average consumer’s inbox is full to bursting with emails, each one trying to hook their attention and entice them to open it.
A staggering 144 billion emails are sent every day, marking email out as the most used method of electronic communication in the world.
The question is, with such an immense amount of background noise, how can you make your emails stand out from the crowd? Follow these easy, no fuss tips and make sure your marketing strategy is working to its full potential.
Recommended reading: Expert Tips for Reaching Your Customer’s Inbox.
Write better emails
It sounds ridiculously obvious, but there’s no denying that your emails are going to perform much better if they’re well written.
Make sure your copy is relevant to your customer, punchy, informative and clear. And keep it brief: customers spend an average of 15-20 seconds reading an email, so if they can’t immediately grasp what it’s about, you’ll quickly lose them.
Practice crafting clickable subject lines
Nailing the subject line is vital, as people won’t even bother to click through to your email if they aren’t immediately interested.
The most important rule is clarity: the reader needs to be able to understand what they’re going to get inside the email before they click. After this, add intrigue, excitement or humor to make it even more irresistible.
Make your emails helpful rather than just personal
Personalization is important, but don’t just whack the customer’s name in the subject line and leave it at that.
Personalizing the contents of the email so it is helpful to the customer and shows a genuine level of knowledge about them will get you much further, for example by referencing their purchase history or some demographic information that they have already volunteered to you.
Give your customer something for nothing
Human beings are selfish creatures and will always ask “what’s in it for me?” before clicking to open your email.
Think about what could be genuinely useful for your customers: a how-to guide, an instructional video, an e-book, a free sample, a discount code?
If you’ve built a new business from scratch, your freebie tactic can help you drive up your customer base. If you’ve bought an existing business, perhaps one that was struggling, which you’re looking to rebrand, offering your existing customers something for nothing could entice them into opening their emails.
Does your email work on mobile?
Over half of all emails are opened on a smartphone, so it’s absolutely crucial that your emails are designed to be easily viewable on a mobile device as well as a computer, otherwise you’re potentially losing half of your customers.
Make sure that the email marketing template you are using automatically converts your emails to be easily viewable on a mobile.
Timing is crucial: send emails between 8pm and midnight
The most opened emails aren’t the ones being sent in working hours.
A survey by Experian found that most recipients open emails between 8pm and midnight, presumably when checking emails before bed, and that they were more likely click through at this time.
Write your emails during the 9 to 5, but schedule them to be sent out during this window: you’ll avoid inbox crowding and be more likely to garner a positive response.
You’ll regret neglecting email in favor of social
Social media is hugely popular and a bit flashier, but reliable old email actually has a much bigger ability to convert new customers compared to Twitter and Facebook.
Research by SocialTwist found that, among 300,000 people studied who converted to become new customers of a selection of companies, 50.8% were reached via email, compared to 26.8% for Twitter and 22% for Facebook.
Neglecting email could cost you dearly.
Use email to reactivate previous customers
You may have lots of customers on your email list, but it’s likely that a large amount of them could be classed as dormant or inactive, meaning they may not have formally opted out, but have just stopped engaging with your email communications.
Winning back old customers could reactivate a huge revenue stream, so create a campaign exclusively for old customers, perhaps by using a loyalty discount or other incentive.
Prepare your editorial email calendar well in advance
A sound email marketing strategy requires planning.
Creating an editorial email calendar will enable you to make sure you have prepared well in advance, something that is particularly important for seasonal emails.
If you’re planning a campaign around Valentine’s Day, you don’t want to be writing that email on February 13th. Implementing an editorial calendar that can be viewed by every member of your team will keep everything up to date and firmly under control.
Use A/B testing to see what you can do better
A/B testing is a way of working out which of two campaign options is working best in terms of encouraging opens or clicks.
You have a control email (group A) and a tweaked version of that as a test email (group B).
Using an analytics program such as Google Analytics or built-in statistics like in Mailigen you can track the results of these groups by opens, click-throughs and conversions.
You can then use this data to evolve your strategy by getting granular on the emails that were opened and replicating their traits in your next campaigns.
Email marketing is an incredibly powerful channel for your business and can be easily leveraged to continually drive new and repeat customers to visit your website.
Implementing a few simple, no fuss strategies as described above can take your business and revenue from good to great in a very short space of time, and testing and tweaking will allow you to refine your email marketing campaigns until they make a big impression on even the busiest of inboxes.
About author: Victoria Greene is a branding consultant and freelance writer. On her blog, VictoriaEcommerce, she shares tips on a wide variety of marketing topics, including email, social media, and content. She is passionate about helping brands develop their marketing strategy.